Shrimp-Stuffed Squash Blossoms: Edible Fireworks

July 2, 2012

in Holiday, Recipe,

Shrimp-Stuffed Squash BlossomsMost of my summers growing up were spent visiting my cousins in America. My family and I would exchange the sweltering heat of the Middle East for the more pleasant one of the US. These summers were spent eagerly learning about things that became symbols of America to me: bright green forests, lakes to swim in, ethereal fireflies, grilling steaks, backyards, road trips and July 4th fireworks.

I’ve now lived in the US for over 15 years and I still get excited when I see things that remind me that I’m here. Walking through the farmer’s market this past weekend, I stumbled across a bunch of vibrantly colored squash blossoms and was immediately reminded of the July 4th fireworks I loved as a child. I didn’t grow up eating these blossoms and was thrilled to finally cook them.

Squash BlossomsMesmerized by these edible golden flowers, I first felt the need to draw the New York skyline to create the image I had in my mind of the blossoms as fireworks bursting over the city I live in and love. Only then was I able to set about conjuring up a recipe.

Shrimp-Stuffed Squash BlossomSince I wanted to preserve the mild green flavor of the blossoms, I filled them with something decadent yet simple – shrimp, scallions, garlic and ginger. I also added Thai green chilies and white pepper for some heat. I coated them with a light batter of gluten-free rice flour and egg whites, and fried them till they were delicately crispy. I served them with a tangy lemon, soy sauce and sesame seed dipping sauce, and voila! I had edible fireworks.

I’d love to hear about what you’re conjuring up in your kitchen for the July 4th holidays. Write to me! And don’t forget to check out the photograph of the “perfect morsel” below.

Happy 4th of July!

A printable list of ingredients and directions are at the end of this post,
along with an image of this Perfect Morsel.

Squash BlossomsRemove the yellowish green stamens from the center of the squash blossoms. Gently rinse the inside to remove any dirt or pollen. Store the squash blossoms in the fridge if you’re not going to use them immediately and cook them within a couple of days of buying them.

Devein ShrimpPeel, devein and rinse the shrimp. TIP: Devein the shrimp in a bowl of cold water rather than under running water. You’ll conserve water and the veins will sink to the bottom of the bowl instead of getting stuck in your sink’s drain.

Finely Chopped ShrimpFinely chop the shrimp using a knife or food processor. Set aside.

Garlic, Ginger, Thai Chilies, ScallionsFinely chop the scallions, garlic, ginger and Thai green chilies.

Stir-fry Shrimp in WokAdd 2 tbsp of oil to a very hot wok or non-stick pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the scallions, garlic, ginger and Thai chilies. Stir-fry for about 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.

Add the chopped shrimp, white pepper and sesame seed oil. Stir for about 2 to 3 minutes until shrimp are light pink. Set aside to cool.

Sesame Seed & Soy Sauce & Lemon Dipping SauceIn the meantime, stir the soy sauce, sesame seed oil and lemon juice in a small bowl for the tangy dipping sauce.

Shrimp Filled Squash BlossomsUsing a teaspoon, carefully spoon the cool shrimp mixture into each blossom, pushing the mixture to the bottom but making sure not to tear the petals. Gently twist the top of each blossom to close the blossom. Don’t be scared to get your hands dirty. Set aside.

Squash Blossoms in Rice FlourWhisk the egg white in a bowl with cold water. Spread the rice flour onto a large plate. Holding the twisted end of the blossom closed, dip a stuffed blossom into the egg and then roll in the rice flour to coat. Repeat with all.

Squash Blossoms & Black Sesame SeedsSprinkle the blossoms with black sesame seeds and set aside.

Frying Squash BlossomsHeat oil in a wok or a frying pan on high flame. When the oil is hot, add the blossoms one by one. I use chopsticks for this part. Fry until crispy and golden brown. About 5 mins.

Fried Shrimp-Stuffed SquashBlossomsRemove the cooked blossoms with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with 2 paper towels to soak up any extra oil.

Perfect Morsel: Shrimp-Stuffed Squash BlossomServe these edible fireworks with the tangy dipping sauce.
~ Anjali

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